Community Altar for June 2018: Loki, the Father

June 17, 2018 | Filed Under Community Altar | No Comments

Since June is the month we celebrate Father’s Day here in the US, this month’s community altar celebrates Loki in his role of Father.

Community Altar June 2018

Community Altar June 2018. See end of post for image credits.

If you’ve read the myths, you know that Loki has children. Many children. He is also portrayed as a protector of children, especially in the Loka Táttur. This delightful Tumblr post explores Loki’s affection for children of all kinds, whether or not they are directly his.

The children pictured above:
Sleipnir: the child of Loki’s dalliance with Svadilfari, the stallion. (Technically, Loki is Sleipnir’s mother, but this is also Pride month, so let’s celebrate gender fluidity as well!)
Jormundgand, Hel, and Fenris, children from his marriage to Angrboda. Angrboda is in the background.
Einmyria and Eisa, daughters from his marriage to Glut.
Narvi and Vali, sons from his marriage to Sigyn.

Loki had no real relationship with Farbauti, his biological father, for reasons not explained in the myths. Surt, the ruler of Muspelheim, gave shelter to Laufey, Loki’s mother, and she gave birth to Loki in Muspelheim, and Surt was his foster-father for many years. This would partly explain Loki’s devotion to his own children—both that he would want to do right by them and that he would follow Surt’s example, and also to try to make up for the lack of parenting from his own father. This is a common pattern; my grandfather was estranged from his family, so my father grew up without his own father, and it made him highly conscious of being present for us and trying to be the best parent he could, to make sure we did not experience the loss he did as a child.

While it’s easy to think of Loki only as a Trickster, and to call on him when we need cleverness to get out of a tight spot, or eloquence to make a good impression, we can call on him as a Father figure to fill those emotional needs, just as we can call on any of the fathers in myth.

Hail, Loki!
Father of beloved children,
Father of deep magic,
Father of difficult truths,
Father of sweetest lies.

Hail, Loki, and hail the fathers!
Fathers of blood,
Fathers of affinity,
Fathers of choice,
Help me to properly honor the fathers in my life.

Hail, Loki!
Son of absent Farbauti,
Missing a father you did not know,
Help me to heal my own hurts
With the fathers in my life.

Hail, Loki!
Foster-son of Surt,
Wild fire youth, learning wisdom and wiles,
Help me to learn wisely and well
From the fathers in my life.

Hail, Loki!
Loving father of magical children,
Adoring, proud, gentle, and strong,
Help me to feel such love for myself
When I am small and tired.

Hail, Loki!
Father and friend,
Wild and wise,
Provocateur and healer,
Help me to properly honor the fathers in my life.

“Sure,” I hear you say, “that’s great if you had a good dad. But my dad was absent/terrible/abusive, and I don’t want to honor him.” You do not have to honor someone who has done you such harm. In such a case, focus your energies on healing yourself, and letting go of the toxic emotions connecting you to that person and that relationship.

You can instead choose to honor other kinds of fathers in your life: an uncle, a mentor, a teacher, a writer or artist whose work inspires you—anyone who fills a fatherly role, however small, can be honored for their positive influence in your life.

Image Credits
Top image: “Kissed by Fire”, Paige Carpenter. The piece is not currently on her site, so you can see a larger version of the artwork here.
Children images, left to right:
Sleipnir image: Icelandic rock carving
“Loki’s Brood” by Emil Doepler, 1905, featuring Jormundgand, Hela, and Fenris. Angrboda is seated in the cave at the far back of the painting.
“Brown and Red Hair Sisters”, Claudia Tremblay
“Two Boys, an Illustration for ‘Daisy’ by Hans Christian Andersen”, Illustrated London News, Volume XLIII, December 19, 1863


Weekly Insight from the Oracles for June 17, 2018

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Daily Poem: Cinéma Vérité ~ Dorothy Walters

June 15, 2018 | Filed Under Poem for Hela | No Comments

Cinéma Vérité
~ Dorothy Walters

This road is so fuzzy
it is sometimes hard to know
whether we are moving
or it is moving under us,
the scenery jerked along behind
like the sets of an old movie;
Time Passes.

Obviously, we are dressed for a journey.
The crude map is in our fist.
The air is heavy, like water,
Forms sometimes flash by like fishes,
too fast to tell whether they are
other travelers heading toward a common destination,
or aborted versions of ourself
that somehow floated free
in an earlier episode.

Before, there was sequence and measure,
A small fist unrolled to a recognizable hand,
blooded and veined,
Spring was to the right,
while on the left
snow crusted the curling branches,
winter always coming on.

Here, all things reflect each other,
The sun scorches the night sky.
The old man playing the organ in the country church
is also the girl strolling in the garden.
Mixed twins wander in circles overhead,
arm in arm,
but you cannot tell the female from the male.
Nearby, a body thuds heavily down,
a corpse imprinting the dust.
Instantly, a thousand roses spring from his brow.

You watch unmoved.
You cannot say if your composure
is the calm of acceptance of the mask of a dulled heart.

You move on,
muttering old benedictions
as you go.


Odin’s Laundry

June 14, 2018 | Filed Under Things I Think About | No Comments

And today in “what does this dream mean?”:

In the dream, I was somewhere, indoors, with Odin, standing in front of what looked like a walk-in bathtub. It was actually a clothes washer, divided into two unequal sections. It was filling with water, so I quickly closed the doors so it wouldn’t overflow onto the stone floor.

I realized I was supposed to do Odin’s laundry, specifically, his shift and ionar. He was busy taking things off to be washed.

There was no instruction book, so I wasn’t sure if the two chambers were dual-wash, or if one was wash and one was rinse. The machine had some knobs and dials, but none of them were marked in any way.

I watched the machine as the two sections filled, trying to figure it out.

*end scene*

When I woke up, I was puzzled as to why I was supposed to wash Odin’s clothes. I don’t have a particularly close relationship with him in my practice, and this seems like a very intimate thing to do for someone.

It’s clear that there’s *something* I’m supposed to be doing for him. Now I just need to figure out what that is. Time to pull some runes and see what answers appear.


Daily Poem: An Answer to Another Persuading a Lady to Marriage ~ Katherine Phillips

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An Answer to Another Persuading a Lady to Marriage
~ Katherine Phillips

Forbear, bold youth, all’s Heaven here,
And what you do aver,
To others, courtship may appear,
’Tis sacriledge to her.

She is a publick deity,
And were’t not very odd
She should depose her self to be
A pretty household god?

First make the sun in private shine,
And bid the world adieu,
That so he may his beams confine
In complement to you.

But if of that you do despair,
Think how you did amiss,
To strive to fix her beams which are
More bright and large than this.


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